Go Small or Go Home! - A Guide to Little Cup in the Fifth Generation

  1. Overview
  2. Strategy
  3. Offensive
  4. Defensive
  5. Standard Team
  6. Conclusion

Overview

Rules

Little Cup is a game, introduced in Pokemon Stadium 2, that has been played ever since; since DPP it has been an official metagame here on Smogon. The reason it is so different from any other metagame is, as you can imagine, its ruleset, which consists of the following:

Pokemon

  • All Pokemon must be at level 5
  • All Pokemon must be the first of their evolutionary line and be able to evolve

In addition to these restrictions, the list of bans and clauses in Little Cup are as follows:

  • Carvanha
  • Gligar
  • Meditite
  • Scyther
  • Sneasel
  • Tangela
  • Vulpix
  • Yanma

Abilities, Items, and Moves

  • Abilities: Moody
  • Items: Berry Juice
  • Moves: Dragon Rage, SonicBoom, Sheer Cold, Fissure, Horn Drill, and Guillotine

Battle Mechanics

  • Sleep Clause: Only one Pokemon can be put to sleep by an opponent's attack at a time, per team.
  • Self-KO Clause: If a Pokemon uses Explosion or Selfdestruct and is the last Pokemon on their team, the player whose Pokemon used Explosion or Selfdestruct loses, regardless of the number of Pokemon on the opposing team.
  • Evasion Clause: Moves and items that boost evasion such as Double Team and BrightPowder are not allowed.

Information

Other than the set rules, there are tips and pearls of knowledge that every aspiring Little Cup player should know.

With the release of Black and White came Eviolite, an item that has forever left its mark on Little Cup. Eviolite raises both defenses of a Pokemon that is not fully evolved by 50%, which, by the rules of Little Cup, affects every eligible Pokemon. Since its release, Eviolite has easily become the most popular item in Little Cup, often assisting all six Pokemon on a team. Now, Little Cup has become more diverse, as both stall and offensive are perfectly viable.

As Little Cup is played at level 5, you might wonder how genderless Pokemon can inherit moves learned after level 5. This is done through a glitch in Pokemon Emerald called the Pomeg Glitch, which works by allowing you to faint Pokemon in your party and battle with eggs. First, you must have only one Pokemon and one egg on your party. Note that the Pokemon must have HP EVs for it to work. First, lower the health of the Pokemon in your party through methods such as Endure and Substitute. Next, use Pomeg Berries on that Pokemon to lower its health to below zero. The game will display it as ?35 or something similar. Afterward, you must use a healing item, such as an Oran Berry or a Potion, on that Pokemon. Its health will become zero and it will faint, leaving you with a fainted Pokemon and an egg in your party. When you engage in battle, the egg will be sent out as the Pokemon inside with a different color palette. Now, you can battle with your egg, teach it new moves, and even evolve it (though you shouldn't do the latter if you plan to use it in Little Cup), and it will hatch at level 5!

Strategy

As with other metagames, Little Cup has some guidelines a good player will always follow. It is important to note that setting up with boosting moves such as Swords Dance, Substitute, and Reflect generally isn't as effective as outright attacking the opponent, due to the high damage output of attacks in Little Cup. Besides the fact that Eviolite is almost always better, low HP stats at level 5 make Leftovers almost always heal only 1 HP. For example, a Pokemon with 25 HP will only heal 1 HP from Leftovers per turn, effectively making the healing rate 4% instead of 6.25% per turn. This escalates with Pokemon that have more HP. Pokemon that have less HP might want to use Oran Berry instead, as it heals about half of their HP.

Offensive

While stall and balance have gotten their fair share of use since the advent of Eviolite, offense is usually considered the most popular playstyle in Little Cup. Offensive teams in BW are less prevalent than they ever were, but they are still very effective. One thing is for sure, though: offense's main nemesis has always been—and will always be—priority moves, especially from new threats such as Timburr and Mienfoo.

General

Offensive teams that don't use a special theme, such as weather or team effects, are usually called general or standard offensive teams. Such teams rely on fast, powerful Pokemon with high-powered attacking moves to steamroll the opponent's team. Scouting is also important on general offensive teams, as switching directly in to an attack is usually not an option due to the frailty of offensive Pokemon. If a switch is predicted, the use of U-turn or Volt Switch allows offensive Pokemon to damage the opponent's switch-in and shift to a teammate that can counter the opponent, and is an excellent way to maintain offensive pressure while doing reasonable damage.

Mienfoo is a prime example of a great offensive Pokemon; its high Attack stat, ability to heal with Regenerator while it scouts, and potential to aid your offensive team by Knocking Off the opponent's Eviolites make it almost necessary on any offensive team. In addition, Eviolite Mienfoo is itself a great Scraggy check. Staryu is another staple on offensive teams; its ability to remove entry hazards from your side of the field makes it very useful, as your Pokemon can switch in and scout unharmed. Staryu is also very fast and powerful, utilizing its good coverage and stats to be a great sweeper. Finally, sporting resistances to common types such as Ice and Water, along with only two weaknesses, Staryu has excellent typing for an offensive team.

When it comes to building your team around a sweeper, Scraggy is one of the best choices. With Dragon Dance boosting its Speed and Attack, excellent coverage with its STAB attacks alone, and two of the best abilities in the game, it is no surprise that almost every successful team must dedicate a Pokemon to defeating this offensive behemoth. The most popular Scraggy set is an exception to the rule of little to no setup, as it uses Dragon Dance to power up some combination of Hi Jump Kick, Crunch, Zen Headbutt, Drain Punch, and Head Smash to sweep. With the Moxie ability, Scraggy becomes unstoppable after a single Dragon Dance and KO, as its Attack is boosted to +2, letting it defeat even the bulkiest Mienfoo with Hi Jump Kick.

When using an offensive team, there are certain threats that need to be checked. Pokemon such as Houndour, Mienfoo, Shelmet, and Clamperl can blast through unprepared offensive teams, so it is usually smart to carry a Pokemon that can check such threats. Choice Scarf Taillow and Doduo reach 27 Speed with an Adamant and Jolly nature, respectively, enabling them to outspeed all the aforementioned threats. Furthermore, they have Brave Birds powerful enough to OHKO all the aforementioned threats—assuming Clamperl has already used Shell Smash, and Shelmet has taken Stealth Rock or Spikes damage. Another example is Rain Dance Mantyke. Thanks to its typing, Mantyke can set up Rain Dance on just about any Pokemon that can beat offensive teams and sweep with Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, and either Hidden Power Grass or Electric. While it must be wary of Stealth Rock, Mantyke can be paired up with Staryu, who can also take advantage of rain and spin away entry hazards.

Sand

Offensive sandstorm is played fairly straightforwardly: set up weather, lay down some hazards, and sweep. Really, there isn't much strategy involved in a good sand team. Because it must always follow basic procedures, such as setting up sandstorm and entry hazards, there isn't much wiggle room to do anything else, especially as one turn of opposing setup can cost your team the game. Their typing is the main reason that regular sand sweepers can't afford to let their opponents set up: Rock-, Ground-, and Steel-type Pokemon usually lose to Fighting-, Ground-, and Water-types, which are all commonly seen in Little Cup.

As the only permanent sandstorm inducer in Little Cup, Hippopotas is required on any successful sandstorm team. A defensive Hippopotas set is usually best, as it can check Scraggy and lay down Stealth Rock, which will aid your offensive team. You can, however, experiment with an offensive set. Hippopotas has good offensive coverage with moves such as Earthquake and Rock Slide, so a Choice Band makes it a definite threat to contend with. Offensive Eviolite Hippopotas—with maximum HP and Attack—is also viable, but either way, Hippopotas is always the most important Pokemon on any sand team, as without it, you will never be able to apply either offensive or defensive pressure. Don't try using the move Sandstorm and a Smooth Rock instead, because setup is too tedious to work.

So, if there are so many requirements for sand teams, why are they used? Simply put, the sweepers. Sand has some of the best, if not the best, sweepers in Little Cup. Drilbur is an excellent example of a Pokemon that excels in a sandstorm. The powerful mole requires no setup other than the mere presence of sandstorm, and it is powerful enough to rip apart anything that is not a physical wall. Excellent Attack and phenomenal Speed in sandy weather (due to Sand Rush) make Drilbur almost impossible to stop once it gets going. Another great aspect of the mole Pokemon is its impressive bulk with an Eviolite. Eviolite Drilbur can comfortably survive Lileep's Energy Ball, proceed to set up Swords Dance, and KO Lileep with X-Scissor.

Hail

Offensive hail is a very deadly strategy that can quickly win a game, and it is almost unstoppable if played correctly, thanks to the excellent type coverage of Ice-type attacks. Specifically, under hail, the immensely powerful Blizzard will never miss. In addition, many Pokemon that can take advantage of hail, such as Vanillite, are strong defensively, so hail teams are usually well balanced.

Obviously, Snover is required on any successful hail team, as it is the only way to set up a permanent hailstorm. Snover's versatility is a significant perk here; some of the many sets it can successfully run include Choice Scarf, Eviolite, and Life Orb. It can be a wallbreaker with Wood Hammer and Blizzard, destroying almost any Pokemon that is not Steel- or Fire-type, or use Ice Shard to beat frail Flying-types such as Doduo and Taillow. This means that all offensive hail teams are diverse and carry one of the best weapons: the element of surprise. Team Preview diminishes this to an extent, but your opponent will never know what sets you are running.

Vanillite, Smoochum, and Snorunt are all powerful Pokemon with STAB Blizzard. They work well on offensive hail teams, especially with Choice Scarf or Choice Specs. Choice Scarf lets them spam Blizzard without having to take a hit, and works well alongside Stealth Rock and Spikes support. Choice Specs trades blazing Speed for overwhelming power, and is fatal against slower teams and stall. DeepSeaTooth Clamperl can use Blizzard on hail teams to OHKO even the bulkiest of Lileep. In addition, the shellfish has good synergy with Snover.

While it loses one-on-one to almost any Pokemon on a hail team, Hippopotas can switch in on a harmless attack and remove the hailstorm with its Sand Stream ability. Fire-type Pokemon resist most of a hail team's moves and can attempt to sweep one. However, precisely for this reason, any good hail team should have a Water-type Pokemon, such as Clamperl or Slowpoke. Steel-types such as Magnemite have Flash Cannon to do heavy damage, and resist Ice and Grass to boot. Therefore, Timburr can be used on a hail team to beat Steel- and Rock-types your team might have trouble with. Timburr also has good synergy with most Ice-type Pokemon.

Rain

Offensive rain is an uncommon strategy in Little Cup, mostly due to the lack of a Drizzle Pokemon. Summoning rain takes much more effort: they must consistently restart the weather over time due to not only the five- or eight-turn limit, but also the possible presence of Hippopotas and Snover. While the former normally cannot switch into anything besides a Fighting-type, it can instantly remove the rain and replace it with sand, allowing the likes of Drilbur to sweep. Snover is an even greater threat, as it can freely switch in on most Water-types and retaliate with a STAB Giga Drain to emerge virtually unscathed. Furthermore, despite the massive boost Swift Swim users gain on their Water-type attacks, the general lack of overpowering rain sweepers is a problem.

Nonetheless, rain can be a very effective strategy if used correctly. First and foremost, there are few good Pokemon to set up rain. While one might think that rain teams require a Damp Rock to start weather, Eviolite is generally the better item. Bulky Water-types, such as Staryu and Chinchou, are great users of Rain Dance, being able to fire off rain-boosted STAB Hydro Pumps and perfectly accurate Thunders in the rain—the latter even gains STAB on Thunder. Bronzor and Mienfoo are other great examples of Rain Dance users, the former having great typing and access to Stealth Rock, and the latter the ability to check many threats to a rain team, such as Lileep and Ferroseed.

There are only a few viable Swift Swim Pokemon, many of whom can set up rain on their own. Omanyte and Horsea are great rain sweepers with their Eviolite-bolstered bulk, powerful STAB Hydro Pump, and high Special Attack. Kabuto and Mantyke are acceptable substitutes, but Mantyke is not nearly as strong as the previous two, and Kabuto is limited in power due to its physical inclination. In fact, most rain sweepers are special attackers because of the difference in base power between the physical Waterfall and the special Hydro Pump. Because of this, a good rain team should make sure to also include several physical attackers, preferably Fighting-types to combat Lileep and Ferroseed, two of the best rain counters.

Sun

Sun in Little Cup is very different from sand and hail, and functions more similarly to rain. A sun team usually includes several Grass-type Chlorophyll Pokemon, such as Bellsprout, as well as Fire-types, such as Ponyta, to take advantage of its effects. In addition, every good sun team should have checks to Hippopotas and Snover, which can both easily change the weather for the worse. A good example is Choice Scarf Chinchou, as it outspeeds Snover and can KO it with Hidden Power Fire after Stealth Rock damage, and also KO Hippopotas with Hydro Pump after Spikes. Unfortunately, Hydro Pump is weakened in the sun, so it is important to think about when Sunny Day should be in effect if using Chinchou.

The problem with sun is that it is extremely difficult to fit Heat Rock on your team without hindering a Pokemon's offensive or defensive capabilities significantly. For this reason, sun is not a recommended playstyle for newcomers to Little Cup. Sun teams have problems with Fire- and Steel-types, namely Larvesta and Bronzor, which wall Grass-types lacking a Fire-type move to no end. Fire-type Pokemon can easily be defeated by Pokemon that outspeed them, such as Diglett, who outspeeds all unboosted Fire-type Pokemon. Thus, Scraggy is a good teammate as it can set up on bulky Pokemon, which most sun sweepers have trouble with. Wynaut can also help remove them with Encore, Counter, and Mirror Coat.

Aside from sweepers, a sun team also needs Sunny Day users. Bronzor is very bulky even without Eviolite, and can wall Ground- and Flying-types that might try to KO your Fire- and Grass-types, respectively. Oddish has good defenses, can set up Sunny Day to support your team, and even take advantage of sun itself. Access to Sleep Powder and Morning Sun make it a very good supporter, and it can do damage when it needs to. Sun sweepers will usually have a very powerful move, such as Flare Blitz or SolarBeam, and two coverage moves, so they can often fit the weather-inducing move into their arsenal, which can let them do something other than be death fodder when the sun runs out and they have low health.

Trick Room

Due to BW's reduced focus on Speed, Trick Room has been often disregarded as a legitimate playstyle in LC. However, that's not to say that it cannot succeed in Little Cup—with the right tools, it certainly can. The focus of Trick Room in any tier is to run several slow Pokemon that either have incredible attacking potential, or that can tank attacks and set up Trick Room multiple times.

The first thing to do when building a Trick Room team is to establish a defensive core with which to set up Trick Room. Bronzor is quite possibly the best user of Trick Room, as it has incredibly low Speed and great defenses. It can easily set up Trick Room and, because it only has one weakness, it can switch out to an appropriate Pokemon for sweeping. Many other Trick Room supporters are available as well; some of the many examples include Duskull, Exeggcute, Frillish, Natu, Porygon, and Slowpoke.

After deciding on two or three supporters, one must now determine which sweepers function best in Trick Room. A key factor one should consider is the typing of the supporters; defensive synergy ensures that sweepers are not swiftly OHKOed by a super effective attack on the switch. Luckily, this is rather easy, as there are a plethora of viable Trick Room sweepers in Little Cup. Because of a lesser focus on Speed this generation, it is imperative that Trick Room sweepers are as slow as possible. For that reason, any Pokemon above base 53 Speed should not be considered, as only Pokemon with base 52 Speed and below can reach a minimum Speed of 9 or below.

At least one physical sweeper, one special sweeper, and one mixed sweeper should be used to make sure all bases are covered when sweeping. There are a few options for the former. First is Timburr: with an incredibly low Speed, high Attack stat, decent attacking options, and solid bulk, it can eliminate a swath of Pokemon after setting up a Bulk Up. Bagon has an incredible Attack stat and can crush the opposition with Outrage. Grimer, despite being often overlooked in Little Cup, has amazing potential in Trick Room with its base 80 Attack and 25 Speed. Krabby has a base Attack stat of 105, one of the highest in the tier, and with its low Speed, can crush Pokemon with Crabhammer and Return.

Though not nearly as common as slow physical sweepers, slow special sweepers are also needed on Little Cup Trick Room teams. Solosis is probably the best of the lot, thanks to its high Special Attack, low Speed, and incredible Magic Guard ability, which lets it use a Life Orb without any repercussions. Magnemite has a phenomenal typing, great Special Attack and low Speed, and access to a variety of moves in Thunderbolt, Flash Cannon, and Hidden Power; it can even attempt to raise its Special Attack with Charge Beam. While usually used as a supporter, Porygon can also act as a special sweeper as Download can potentially increase its Special Attack. Finally, DeepSeaTooth Clamperl can reach an incredible Special Attack stat of 34, scoring a 2HKO or better on the vast majority of the metagame.

The hardest part of building a Trick Room team is finding a mixed sweeper that can handle a variety of threats to finish off teams at the end of a match. Accounting for the turn the supporter switches out, Trick Room will only last for three turns, and there is no way of extending it. Therefore, it might be a little difficult to find a suitable sweeper that can handle mixed defensive threats, such as Lileep and Ferroseed. Out of all of the viable Pokemon in Little Cup, Croagunk is the most reliable option for this role. Though its attacking stats aren't particularly high, it does have an incredibly broad movepool that includes great physical and special attacking options. In addition, Croagunk has access to a plethora of priority attacks, making it useful outside of Trick Room.

While Trick Room has the potential to be very destructive, it does have some glaring weaknesses that can be exploited. For one, strong defensive Pokemon, such as Bronzor, will not be OHKOed or even 2HKOed by most sweepers, and can inflict damage with Psychic or stall out Trick Room with Oran Berry and Recycle. Another easy method of countering Trick Room teams is to run Protect on a couple of Pokemon. Because Trick Room only lasts for five turns, stealing even a single turn will massively hurt dedicated Trick Room teams. Another option to prevent Trick Room teams from succeeding is to simply prevent the opponent from setting it up in the first place. Because Trick Room has the lowest possible priority at -7, all other moves will go before it. Hence, one can easily Taunt the Trick Room user or phaze it out with Whirlwind or Roar. However, it should be noted that Whirlwind and Roar are quite rare in Little Cup and do not see much use outside of this purpose.

Defensive

Although offensive teams have dominated Little Cup in the past (and continue to do so), defensive teams and bulky Pokemon are still very important to the tier. Due to the addition of Eviolite, once-bulky Pokemon are now even bulkier; this allows meaningful defensive play in a tier once all but overrun by hyper offense. Defensive play's role in Little Cup cannot be overstated as certain sweepers, such as Drilbur, are only countered by a purely defensive set of Pokemon.

General

When it comes to playing defensively, certain things must be immediately noted. First of all, "defensive" Little Cup play does not necessarily mean heavy, 6 Pokemon stall as it does in some other tiers, due to the fact that Pokemon such as Clamperl are simply too powerful to be stalled out in a traditional sense. Rather, defensive play emphasizes a conglomeration of stalling, defensive pivots, offensive pivots, and type-based immunities.

Stalling is important to any defensive Little Cup team; this is perhaps doubly so due to the relative dearth of spinners. Tentacool and Omanyte are two of the best choices for any Little Cup defensive team, as they set up Toxic Spikes and possess decent typing. The former also has Rapid Spin, while the latter has Stealth Rock. Other notable users of entry hazards include Ferroseed, which receives Spikes and has Leech Seed; Bronzor, which lays Stealth Rock and counters the devastating Drilbur; Shelmet, which uses Spikes and counters all Scraggy without Head Smash or Taunt; and Lileep, which sets up Stealth Rock and counters Chinchou. Due to the lack of spinners, a spinblocking Ghost-type isn't a necessity. However, if one is desired, Frillish is the best choice to fill such a slot thanks to its bulk and overall usefulness.

Toxic Spikes can be eliminated by only three commonly seen Pokemon: Staryu, Croagunk, and Tentacool (note that Croagunk cannot eliminate other hazards). Staryu is a pain to defensive teams as, in addition to spinning, it can brush off minor damage with Recover, and also possesses fair coverage. A Pokemon such as Ferroseed or Lileep serves as a defensive team's best chance against Staryu, as both soak up most of Staryu's moves and can stack hazards right back up as it switches out. Croagunk is common on offensive teams as an answer to Scraggy, and is also a hindrance to stall as it absorbs Toxic Spikes. This is where Exeggcute, a defensive staple, comes into play. There's not much that's initially exciting about Exeggcute, until one considers its Dream World ability, Harvest. Harvest allows Exeggcute to repeatedly use an Oran Berry while dealing damage and spreading Sleep Powder to opponents unaffected by Toxic Spikes, such as Ferroseed and Bronzor. Most offensive teams lack a true counter to Exeggcute; rather, they have to attempt to force it out by luring in a Leaf Storm from it. Either way, Exeggcute is a nearly perfect answer to opposing Croagunk, as the combination of Sleep Powder and Substitute means it will almost never have to take a super effective Sucker Punch. Finally, Tentacool is another Pokemon that can remove Toxic Spikes. However, it is typically only seen on opposing defensive teams, and it cannot switch in repeatedly due to its lack of reliable recovery. Exeggcute also handles Tentacool nicely, as does Ferroseed.

Pivots are important to any defensive team, just as they are to offensive teams. For example, if the opponent is using an Exeggcute of their own, a defensive team lacking a good counter could quickly find itself in trouble. Vullaby stands out as a nearly complete counter to Exeggcute, and, on defensive teams, can absorb the Sleep Powder and still force it out. In the same vein, opposing Choice Scarf Flying-types typically do a number on even defensive teams if Bronzor is out of the picture; for this reason, Chinchou can see use. Chinchou has the added bonus of absorbing Electric-type attacks and acting as a cleric with Heal Bell. As noted earlier, offensive pivots are also solid options on defensive teams. A good example of this is Houndour; although it is typically a devastating offensive sweeper, it can effectively use a Life Orb set as it weathers Fire- and Grass-type attacks aimed at Ferroseed and Frillish, respectively.

Sand

Completely defensive sandstorm teams are quite rare in Little Cup, due to the fact that Drilbur dominates sand play offensively. However, it is common for a sandstorm team to exploit particular defensive cores, as good resistances and residual damage from sandstorm and poison combine to weaken teams in preparation for a Drilbur sweep.

Lileep is one of the biggest bosses of sandstorm defensively. Garnering a boost to its Special Defense in sandstorm thanks to its Rock typing, Lileep also absorbs Water-type moves handily thanks to Storm Drain.These traits are abetted by a precise movepool, including Stockpile, Toxic, and, of course, Recover. In fact, if a team's physical Pokemon have all been weakened, Lileep has no trouble walling entire teams late-game. Lileep is commonly used alongside Pokemon such as Frillish, which is notable for its important immunities to Water- and Fighting-type moves. Frillish also can use Will-O-Wisp or Scald to help Lileep stall or inflict offensive Pokemon with a burn, which complements both Lileep's and Frillish's naturally high Special Defense stats.

Ferroseed is also useful as it can set up hazards, stay healthy and drain the opponent with Leech Seed + protect, answer opposing rain teams, and handle opposing Drilbur with Bullet Seed or Seed Bomb. Defensively, Hippopotas itself is no slouch either; in fact, it's one of the best checks to the ever-so-threatening Gastly. The rare Tirtouga becomes a defensive behemoth in the sand, gaining a Special Defense boost that works nicely in tandem with Solid Rock. Finally, Larvesta is noteworthy on a defensive sand team for its ability to check Snover, though keep in mind that Morning Sun is ineffective in sand.

Hail

Defensive hail might be the most uncommon team archetype in the metagame. The most important Pokemon to these teams is obviously Snover, which, due to Blizzard's excellent coverage with Blizzard, causes a lot of switches. This can be combined with Substitute and Leech Seed to cause residual damage to stack up. Snover synergizes nicely with Tentacool, and the latter brings a lot to the table for hail stall, most notably Rapid Spin and Toxic Spikes. Although this core has no problem sponging hits, it is difficult to keep healthy, as neither Pokemon has access to reliable recovery. Therefore, a user of Wish is recommended. Lickitung is a good choice here, as it also can remove status through Heal Bell.

Spheal plays much like Walrein does in the upper tiers, but as Leftovers only heals it by 1 HP per turn, the strategy does not quite work as nicely in LC. This also means Spheal misses out on using Eviolite. Nonetheless, a moveset of Substitute, Protect, and Aqua Ring is nearly perfect on hail stall, provided you can find the chance to set it up. Unfortunately, the wealth of Fighting-types in LC make this strategy nigh-impossible to execute flawlessly.

Aside from the aforementioned Pokemon, Staryu can be used as an alternative spinner, and Chinchou has access to Heal Bell and Blizzard. Sadly, the options for defensive hail teams basically ends here. Perhaps a more gimmicky set with a user of Snow Cloak could be attempted, but most Ice-types with the ability are startlingly fragile. The biggest disadvantage of any defensive hail team is its weakness to Fighting-types. Any team attempting this strategy must pack numerous Fighting-type checks and hope for the best.

Standard Team

To give an idea of what a general Little Cup team looks like, here is a sample standard balanced team.

Scraggy

Scraggy @ Eviolite
Ability: Moxie
EVs: 236 Atk / 36 Def / 212 Spe
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Dragon Dance
- Crunch
- Taunt
- Hi Jump Kick

Scraggy, one of the most feared sweepers in Little Cup, is a great physical sweeper. After a single Dragon Dance, it will have 21 Speed and 27 Attack. Crunch and Hi Jump Kick are its main STAB attacks; while the former is reliable, the latter is extremely powerful. Taunt is used to prevent Pokemon such as Shelmet from stopping Scraggy's sweep. Moxie allows Scraggy to sweep with relative ease; with an Attack boost after every KO, this offensive behemoth becomes a nightmare to deal with.

Bronzor

Bronzor @ Eviolite
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 220 HP / 72 Atk / 148 Def / 68 SpD
Impish Nature (+Def, -SpA)
- Stealth Rock
- Gyro Ball
- Earthquake
- Toxic

Bronzor is very useful in the Little Cup metagame, as it is one of the best checks to Drilbur. With its typing, ability, and bulk, it can easily beat the sand-dwelling mole, which would otherwise sweep this whole team. Bronzor also provides Stealth Rock support, which helps in providing residual damage, and Toxic lets it cripple a troublesome opposing Pokemon, especially defensive opponents such as Slowpoke or Lileep. Earthquake is great for hitting opposing Chinchou and Magnemite, and Gyro Ball is an excellent STAB attack that allows it to damage Drilbur and other threats. Levitate allows Bronzor to avoid Ground-type moves that would otherwise hit it super effectively.

Chinchou

Chinchou (F) @ Eviolite
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 56 Def / 232 SpA / 220 Spe
Modest Nature (+SpA, -Atk)
- Volt Switch
- Hydro Pump
- Hidden Power Grass
- Thunderbolt

Chinchou serves as a great check to Water-types, and an excellent bulky attacker in its own right. Volt Switch allows it be a great scout on its common switch-ins, while Thunderbolt is a handy Electric STAB attack due to its consistency, Hydro Pump is a powerful STAB attack that allows Chinchou to hit many threats hard, and Hidden Power Grass enables it to defeat opposing Chinchou. Volt Absorb means Chinchou can check Magnemite and opposing Chinchou even better, as it becomes not only immune to Electric-type moves, but also benefits from them.

Drilbur

Drilbur @ Eviolite
Ability: Sand Rush
EVs: 60 HP / 156 Atk / 36 Def / 212 Spe
Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SpA)
- Swords Dance
- Rock Slide
- Rapid Spin
- Earthquake

Drilbur, while commonly only seen on sand teams, is a useful Rapid Spin user. With its high Attack and Speed, it can easily outspeed and severely damage much of the metagame. Rapid Spin is used to give Larvesta and the rest of the team a much easier time switching in, which is important due to the prevalence of Spikes and Stealth Rock. Drilbur can also pull off a late game sweep using its high 18 Attack and 17 Speed. After a Swords Dance, this mole can run through most teams with the stellar coverage of Rock Slide and Earthquake; finally, Sand Rush allows Drilbur to take advantage of a potential sandstorm caused by the opponent.

Wynaut

Wynaut @ Eviolite
Ability: Shadow Tag
EVs: 76 HP / 140 Def / 136 SpD / 92 Spe
Calm Nature (+SpD, -Atk)
- Encore
- Destiny Bond
- Counter
- Mirror Coat

Wynaut is useful to ensure Scraggy sets up. With its great bulk and Shadow Tag, Wynaut can easily trap and Encore any defensive Pokemon, allowing Scraggy to set up. Encore is used for its astounding utility against all Pokemon, while Counter and Mirror Coat allow Wynaut to easily remove any threat. Destiny Bond is a great move, even on slow Pokemon such as Wynaut, forcing the opposition to decide between keeping their Pokemon alive and allowing Wynaut to live.

Larvesta

Larvesta @ Eviolite
Ability: Flame Body
EVs: 76 HP / 156 Atk / 84 Def / 76 SpD / 116 Spe
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Morning Sun
- Flare Blitz
- Will-O-Wisp
- U-turn

Larvesta is a great bulky attacker that can check the many fighting types in LC. Its unique typing allows it to resist many moves, such as Mienfoo's Hi Jump Kick and Snover's Blizzard, and its 18 Attack allows it to hit with great force. Morning Sun gives Larvesta somewhat reliable recovery, and Will-O-Wisp allows it to cripple many physical attackers. U-turn is a great scouting move, forming the great VoltTurn combo when used in tandem with Chinchou, and Flare Blitz is a powerful STAB that does massive damage to anything that does not resist it.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, it's extremely important to remember that prediction is the key to victory. While having a good team is crucial as well, your team will be nothing without prediction. Though it sounds incredibly cliche, the best way to get good at Little Cup is to practice, for practice is the key to knowing both the game and the opposition. Even the experts don't have some secret strategy to win every game; they just know that practice makes perfect. Like in any tier, the more you play, the better you get! Hopefully, after this reading this article, you'll be able to build yourself a nice team and start out with your best foot forward.

If you're in need of additional help, check out the Speed Tiers and Threat List articles, or join #littlecup on IRC to talk with the experts!